Trump to ask for $8.6 billion for border wall

US President will seek $8.6 billion in new budget for US-Mexico border wall, setting up another showdown with Congress.

Ben Ariel,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Reuters

US President Donald Trump will seek $8.6 billion in his new budget to build the US-Mexico border wall, two administration officials said Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

Failure to receive the funds could set up another showdown with Congress, which has resisted giving him more money for the border wall thus far.

The request would more than double the $8.1 billion already available to the president after he declared a national emergency at the border in order to circumvent Congress once lawmakers refused his funding demands.

That previous standoff led to a 35-day partial government shutdown, which ended in late January when Republicans and Democrats agreed to hold talks in an attempt to reach an agreement on border security.

The officials confirmed Sunday that the request was part of Trump's spending blueprint for the 2020 budget year that begins October 1. That document, which sets the stage for negotiations ahead, proposes boosting to defense spending to $750 billion while reducing nondefense accounts by 5 percent, with cuts recommended to safety net programs used by many Americans.

The plan sticks to budget caps that both parties have routinely broken in recent years and promises to come into balance in 15 years, relying in part on economic growth that may be uncertain.

The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss budget details before Monday's release of the plan and spoke on condition of anonymity.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said earlier on Sunday that Trump's budget "points a steady glide path" toward lower spending and borrowing as a share of the nation's economy.

Budget proposals are merely a starting point, but leading Democrats immediately rejected this request.

"Congress refused to fund his wall and he was forced to admit defeat and reopen the government. The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York, according to AP. They said the money "would be better spent on rebuilding America."

The wall with Mexico was one of Trump's central campaign promises. He initially said Mexico would pay for the wall, but Mexico has refused to do so.




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